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“Notes From the Field” in Washington

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Icepaw & Sunflower Report ~ All is Well

Sat, 07/14/2018 - 12:41

Ross Lake North Cascades National ParkNorth Cascades Adventure I:

We hiked out of the backcountry right on schedule yesterday afternoon and enjoyed some snacks at the Ross Lake Trailhead before heading out to Winthrop, WA. 

Our backcountry portion went really smoothly, everyone made it to the top of Desolation Peak which was really impressive to us Alpenguides! Our girls got to meet Jim, who is one of the lookouts and a firefighter at the top of Desolation Peak. He welcomed us and gave us some extra water and helped us take photos at the top of the peak. He shared some of his drawings with us and told us some stories about how he and his wife used to spend many days on top of Desolation Peak looking out for wildfires. We got a late dinner that night of macaroni and cheese but the girls were still in high spirits at the end of the day. 

Sydney had a great day as our LOD (leader of the day) and she kept the group on task really well. We ran into a group of backpacking boys from a local YMCA program and they continued to howl from their campsite throughout the evening! The girls thought it was hilarious and so did we, so we kept the conversation going by howling with our neighbors. Josie has been earning karma points for sharing her items with the group and she’s been a great asset in terms of getting her tent up and down efficiently.

Mid way through the 6-day backpacking trip in North Cascades National Park, girls rotated into their new tent groups and overall the girls have been really good about sharing their space and having conversations into the night with their tent mates. Chloe even taught the girls how to play bridge. Sydney has been a great helper especially getting things in and out of peoples backpacks and she was a very diplomatic leader on her turn as leader of the day. Lucille is always ready to help out especially when it comes to getting to camp together and getting the cooking started. She also goes out of her way to help people get their water treated and get water from the stream. Hannah has shown us that she is quite an Alpenolympic competitor and has won 3 events so far. The most entertaining one so far has been her whale breaching, which we got to do at Ross Lake - a picturesque landscape. On Zoe‘s day as leader of the day she was really helpful in getting even the difficult, messy tasks done. She always had a good attitude and was a really calm and steady leader. 

On our last day in the backcountry, Taylor was LOD and got us out of camp really quickly, the fastest we have ever done! She was really helpful all day in getting girls’ laundry collected and getting people to the showers efficiently. She has been positive and always has a good time. The highlights of our backcountry portion are definitely getting to the top of Desolation Peak, despite the long, difficult, uphill climbs. It was well worth it and the girls got to enjoy some Oreos and extraordinary views at the top. We also really enjoyed jumping in the lake and cooling off. Once we got to our new campsite after the backcountry, we even got another dip in the water as the temperature got up to 100° yesterday. 

Next up, we have rock climbing and horseback riding! We still have quite a bit of activities for this trip and we have loved having these girls on our North Cascades Adventure with us!

Today is the pre-scheduled date that Alpenguides (Katie or Laura) will call parents and let them know how their camper is doing, they will call from a blocked phone number sometime this morning, afternoon or evening, if they miss you when they call, they will leave a detailed voicemail message for you. Stay tuned:)